COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids have acquired forward Rafael Navarro on a 12-month loan from Brazilian Serie A champions S.E. Palmeiras with an option to make the transfer permanent, the club announced today. The signing is pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa. Navarro’s loan will run through June 30, 2024, and the striker will occupy a Designated Player slot on the Rapids’ roster.
“We’re thrilled to add a striker of Rafael’s quality to our roster as we continue our push to get back into the playoff race,” said Colorado Rapids President Pádraig Smith. “Rafael is a talented and tenacious player who will bring a goalscoring threat and experience at the highest levels in South America to the club. We believe he can immediately improve our attacking core and look forward to welcoming him to Colorado.”
Navarro, 23, joins the Rapids from Palmeiras, the most successful club team in the history of Brazil's Serie A, the country's top-flight division. Since debuting with the São Paolo-based side in 2022, Navarro has made 65 appearances for Palmeiras, scoring 11 goals and providing four assists across all competitions—including eight goals and two assists across 13 Copa Libertadores appearances—en route to helping Palmeiras earn the 2022 league title, as well as the 2022 Recopa Sudamericana.
A native of Cabo Frio in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Navarro began his professional career with Botafogo in 2020. After the club was relegated to Serie B at the end of the 2020 season, Navarro helped power Botafogo back to the top flight the following year, scoring 15 goals—the third-highest tally in the league that year—and registering nine assists as the club won the Serie B league title and earned promotion to Serie A. In all, Navarro logged 18 goals and 10 assists from 63 appearances for Botafogo across all competitions during his time with the club.
TRANSACTION: Colorado Rapids acquire forward Rafael Navarro from Palmeiras on a 12-month loan, with an option to make the transfer permanent.
Pronunciation: ha-fah-EL nah-VAH-hoo
Birthdate: April 14, 2000
Birthplace: Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil